PocketWizard has announced its AC3 Zone Controller multiple light controller will be available from the end of this month. Priced at US $69.95 and £59.99 GBP, it offers independent control over three lighting zones. Each zone can be adjusted to ±3EV in 1/3EV steps and switched to manual, TTL auto or turned off. AC3 Zone Controller is only available for Canon cameras, with Nikon versions to be made available soon.
Adobe has released Camera Raw 6.1, its raw processing software plug-in for Photoshop CS5. The final version of the update, originally posted as a 'release candidate' on the Adobe Labs site, is available for immediate download. The latest version is based around a revised processing engine and includes the Lens Correction feature that applies profile-based corrections. It also extends RAW support to the same cameras that were supported in v5.7, with additional support for the Olympus E-600.
Trade body PMA has announced its show will move to September in 2011 and be open to the public for the first time. Traditionally held in the first quarter of the year, the show is being moved to fit with product release and buying periods, following a quiet 2010 show. Its spring scheduling brought it into competition with the CES electronics show (which Canon chose to attend in preference in 2010), which will be avoided with its September 8-10 2011 slot. A September date in 2012 would risk overlapping with the larger Photokina show in Europe, however. For the first time, the show will officially open its doors to members of the public, with enthusiasts able to attend on Saturday September 10th.
Swiss color management and measurement specialist X-Rite has announced the ColorChecker Passport DNG Profile Manager. The DNG Profile Manager provides a single list of all installed DNG profiles and can filter, rename and export from this list to help manage them all. The software is available to download free of charge for registered users of ColorChecker Passport, X-Rite's portable profiling product.
Just posted: Our exclusive preview of the Panasonic Lumix G 8mm F3.5 Fisheye. We've had the chance to play around with the latest addition to the Micro Four Thirds lens range and have prepared a preview, detailing its warped wide-angle capabilities. We've also been able to prepare a small samples gallery, using a pre-production lens which we've been told is representative of final image quality.
Panasonic has announced the DMC-FX75 (FX70 in Europe), a 14 megapixel touch-screen compact camera with 5x zoom lens. The 24-120mm image stabilized, Leica-branded lens offers a maximum aperture of F2.2 at the wide-angle end but only F5.9 at the long end. It also features AVCHD Lite 720p video with the ability to split video clips in the camera. The camera is available in Black in Europe and both Black and Silver in the US.
Panasonic has announced an 8mm fisheye lens for the Micro Four Thirds system. Equivalent to 16mm on a full-frame camera, the Lumix G Fisheye 8mm F3.5 offers a diagonal angle of view of 180 degrees, and an ED glass element is designed to minimise chromatic aberration. Panasonic says the lens is the world's smallest and lightest of its type. It features a metal mount and (unlike the recently reviewed 7-14mm) can be used with gelatine filters. It will be available from July 2010, at a cost of around £729.99.
Just posted! Our lens review of Panasonic's ultra-wideangle zoom for Micro Four Thirds, the Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH. This lens takes advantage of the downsizing possibilities offered by the mirrorless format to deliver a huge angle of view in a body that's scarcely larger than a typical DSLR kit zoom. But this comes at a pretty steep price, so with the Olympus M Zuiko Digital 9-18mm F4-5.6 now available as a lower-cost alternative, we look to see what extra the 7-14mm has on offer to tempt the wideangle enthusiast.
Pentax and Nikon have released firmware updates for the Optio H90, I-10, W90, X90 and Coolpix S230 compact cameras. The updates to version 1.0.1 for all Pentax compacts offer additional settings while using Eye-Fi wireless memory cards. The firmware v1.1 for the Nikon S230 fixes a minor bug. The latest versions are available for immediate download from the Pentax and Nikon websites.
Just posted: our look behind the scenes of in-camera lens corrections. It's become increasingly common for manufacturers to design cameras that perform some degree of lens correction. So what are manufacturers playing at? Why are they releasing lenses with distortion, what effect does it have, and should dpreview review the distorted or the corrected output? We spoke to a series of leading camera and lens makers, as well as the creators of leading RAW converters to find out just what's going on.
Sony has detailed the double-layer microlens technology it used to maintain imaging performance in its chip featuring the industry's smallest pixel size. Its latest Semiconductor and Components online newsletter explains the structure of the ICX681SQW 14.2 MP 1/2.3" type CCD sensor that adds convex lenses beneath the existing microlenses to improve optical condensing (the process of directing more light onto the photodiode). The chip is used in the Cybershot H55 and several recent W Series compacts. The newsletter also gives details of the company's 3:2 aspect ratio, 1.03 million dot LED-lit LCD panel that sounds a lot like the one used in Canon's Rebel T2i.
Phase One has announced its acquisition of Microsoft's Expression Media digital asset management software. The software enables users to import, browse, organize and share images and videos. The company is running a special offer for users of its Capture One 5 image editing software and existing users of Expression Media entitling each to a copy of the other piece of software until June 30th.
Samsung has posted a firmware update for its NX10 mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Version 1.15 adds features including selectable manual focus assist. It also claims to enhance overall stability of the camera amongst other improvements. The firmware is currently available via the Samsung Imaging website and requires users to register before downloading. As firmware v1.15 addresses some of the criticisms raised in our review of the camera, we plan to revise the review to reflect this.
Canon and Fujifilm have released firmware updates for the EOS 5D Mark II digital SLR and FinePix HS10 manual superzoom compact camera. Firmware v2.0.7 for the Canon 5D Mark II fixes bugs pertaining to movie mode, differences between LCD and viewfinder information in manual mode, and the use of wireless file transmitters. The firmware v1.02 for the Fujifilm HS10 also fixes a few bugs. The updates are available for immediate download from the Canon and Fujifilm websites.
Voigtländer has announced the European price and availability of its Apo-Lanthar 90mm F3.5 SL II close focus lens in Canon, Nikon and Pentax mounts. Announced in February 2010, the lens is priced at €549 for all the three mounts. In the UK market it is priced at £487.62 for the Canon EF mount and £464.12 for the Nikon Ai-S and Pentax KA mounts. The lens has been redesigned with a smaller body while maintaining the same optical construction and 50cm minimum focusing distance of the previous, SL version.
Adobe's image processing rival DxO Labs has highlighted potential pitfalls in allowing users to profile their own lenses using Adobe's recently announced Lens Profile Creator utility. The company has expressed concerns about the accuracy and number of measurements taken to achieve an accurate profile. In response, Adobe has explained the reasoning behind encouraging users to profile their own lenses and says it has tried to mitigate the potential errors.
All existing examples of the Sony E-mount 16mm F2.8 lens for its NEX system are non-production specification, the company has informed us. Tetsuya Numata, General Manager, Digital Imaging Europe told us: '[Sony] Japan noticed that all 16mm samples were actually pre-production samples and not showing the final performance of the lens. The design was modified from pre-production stage.' The statement came following discussions we'd had with the company over the image quality displayed in our own samples and others on the Internet. The company has promised us a production specification lens and we will post images with it as soon as we have it.
Just Posted: Our review of the Olympus E-PL1. The E-PL1 is essentially a simplified and cut-down version of the company's E-P2 Micro Four Thirds camera. The 12MP camera adopts many features from its big brothers and adds a built-in flash and an interactive point-and-shoot mode. But has all this economizing blunted the 'Digital Pen'? Find out in our review.
Ricoh has announced firmware updates, adding functions to its GXR and GR Digital III cameras. To be released on May 19, updates for both include two more noise reduction settings and an additional incandescent white balance preset. Both cameras will also feature an Auto Shutter Speed Shift function in shutter priority mode, which when selected changes the shutter speed where it would otherwise have no choice but to over or underexpose. There are also further improvements and additional features available for individual cameras.
Leica has announced a revised version of the Summilux-M 35mm f1.4 ASPH lens for its M series of rangefinder cameras. It promises improved close distance performance through the use of a floating focus design, in which the lenses behind the aperture change position relative to the front group on focusing. The lens also comes with a compact rectangular screw-mount hood. It will be available in July 2010 at authorized Leica dealers for a recommended price of $4,995/£3,375.
Sigma UK has announced its APO 120-400mm f/4.5-5.6 DG OS HSM optically stabilized lens will be available soon in Sony and Pentax mounts. Currently available in Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts, the Pentax version will start shipping from May 21, 2010 followed by the Sony version from May 28, 2010 at a suggested retail price of £766.30.
Adobe has released a 'Release Candidate' of its Camera RAW 6.1 raw processing software for immediate download from Adobe Labs. Based around a revised processing engine first seen in v6.0, it includes the Lens Correction feature that applies profile-based corrections. It also extends RAW support to the same cameras that were supported in v5.7, with additional support to the Olympus E-600. According to the company, the term 'Release Candidate' means the download is well tested but not yet final version.
Sony has created Memory Stick-Pro HG Duo HX cards with read speeds increased to up to 30MB/s, from 20MB/s. The write speed remains at a minimum of 15MB/s (on HG-compatible devices), as per the previous generation cards. The faster read rates will speed up processes such as the transfer of large images or playback of HD video. The latest cards are available in 8GB, 16GB and 32GB capacities.
Canon is celebrating the production of its 40 millionth EOS camera, including both film and digital SLRs. The Electro Optical System (EOS) series was introduced in 1987 with the launch of EOS 650 which incorporated the world’s first fully electronic mount. A press release from the company stresses milestones in its history.
Just posted! Our preview samples gallery from the Sony Alpha NEX-5. We have just received a production sample NEX-5, and decided to venture out of the office for a saunter around London in the spring sunshine to bring you a quick gallery. All the images have been shot with the optically stabilized 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 kit zoom lens. The gallery includes a mix of shots using various ISOs and under different lighting conditions. We've even added a video to watch and download. UPDATE: When we produced this sample gallery we were told that the E 16mm F2.8 lens we were using was a production sample. However, Sony has today (May 18th) informed us that all E 16mm F2.8 lens in circulation are not of production specification and image quality should not be taken as indicative of final production quality.
Hasselblad has released a Mac update for its Phocus image processing software which extends RAW support to third party camera files. Version 2.5 allows processing of files from manufacturers including Canon, Nikon, Leica, Sony, Fujifilm and Olympus. It also includes a host of new features, and supports common file formats such as JPEG, DNG, PNG and TIFF. The company says that the Windows version of Phocus 2.5 will be released by mid-June and will include all the latest improvements excluding support for third party files. The Mac version will be available as a free download from May 19th from Hasselblad's website.
Leica has announced the Summarit-S 35mm f/2.5 ASPH lens for its S2 professional DSLR. The first wide angle lens designed for its S system offers a 28mm equivalent field of view. It joins the existing 70mm f/2.5 ASPH and 180mm f/2.5 lenses. Leica says it will available from May 2010 at a suggested retail price of US $5295.
Along with the Alpha NEX-5 and NEX-3, Sony has announced it will develop an AVCHD camcorder that will be built around the new E mount system. Due to be launched in Autumn/Fall 2010, it will include the Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor seen in the NEX models and will be compatible with existing Alpha lenses via an adaptor.
As expected, Sony has unveiled the NEX-3 and NEX-5 mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. The two cameras are both built around the 14.6 megapixel Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor announced at the PMA 2010 exhibition in February and the new, mirrorless E-mount. Both offer high-resolution tilt/flip screens, fast continuous shooting and HD video capture, with 720p from the NEX-3 and 1080i, AVCHD from the NEX-5. Also announced are three E-mount lenses: a 16mm F2.8 pancake, offering a 24mm equivalent field-of-view, a standard 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 stabilized kit zoom, with a 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 stabilized superzoom to follow. We've been using both NEXs for a while and have delved beyond the raw specifications to prepare hands-on previews of both models.
Canon has released the PowerShot SD4000 IS (IXUS 300HS in Europe) ultra-compact camera. It features the company's new 'HS' system that promises better low-light performance and high-speed photography through a combination of a 10MP back-illuminated CMOS sensor and DIGIC 4 processor. It sports a 28-105mm equivalent f/2.0-5.3 stabilized zoom lens (offering the same range as the S90 but for a smaller sensor), 3 inch LCD and P/A/S/M shooting modes. The camera also features a Super Slow Motion movie mode that records 340x240 movies at 240fps, as well as 720p HD movies capture.
As previously announced, firmware updates for the DMC-GF1, DMC-GH1 and DMC-G1 Micro Four-Thirds cameras are now available for download. These promise improved autofocus performance with third-party lenses and recognition of the new 14-42mm kit zoom, plus enhanced flash performance for the GH1 and G1. The updates can be downloaded via Panasonic's website.
DxO Labs has updated its DxO Optics Pro raw converter to version 6.2 for both Windows and Mac. The latest versions add support for the Canon 550D and Sony Alpha DSLR-A450 in both Standard and Elite editions. The Elite edition also supports the Canon EOS 1D Mark IV and Nikon D3s, and comes with 85 additional optical modules. Versions for both operating systems also offer a number of new features including automatic noise reduction and a default sharpening preset.
Olympus has announced the availability of its PEN E-P2 Micro Four Thirds camera in silver. Previously only available in black (in most markets), the silver version of the camera will start shipping from next week including the M. Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 lens. The European recommended selling price will be €799.
Ricoh has unveiled the P10 28-300mm equivalent F3.5-5.6 VC lens module for the GXR system with a 1/2.3" back-illuminated CMOS sensor. The image-stabilized unit includes features such as RAW capture, HD video recording and 5 fps continuous shooting (120 fps at VGA). The P10 is the third module available for GXR users, with the A12 28 mm equivalent F2.5 prime lens module currently under development.
In addition to its latest GXR module announcement, Ricoh has shown us a series of concept prototypes for non-camera modules that could be developed for the system. The eight mockups, first shown at the CP+ show in Japan in March 2010, include a GPS unit, a wireless kit for underwater photography, storage and projector units. The company says it will first concentrate on producing camera modules but wants to demonstrate the potential of the system.
Just posted! Our latest lens review, featuring the Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8 L IS II USM. This lens was announced at the start of the year as Canon's replacement for its flagship fast telephoto zoom - the workhorse of many professional photographers - promising improvements in almost every aspect of its design. We've been putting it through its paces for the last couple of weeks, click through to read how it fared in our tests.
Topaz Labs has released the latest version of its DeNoise noise reduction plug-in for Adobe Photoshop. It incorporates the company's latest 'IntelliNoise' noise reduction technology that aims to remove noise from images while maintaining detail. It is available as a free upgrade for existing users or $79.99 for first-time buyers.
As you may already have guessed dpreview.com has a new design. The biggest changes are the homepage, which has been totally redesigned, and the new site-wide widgets on the right hand column. From a user interface point of view the biggest change regular readers will need to adjust to is that the menu has moved from the left-hand side (where it's lived for a decade) to the top of the page. This will allow us to use the full width of your screen for some of our future developments. We hope you like it, and that you'll bear with us today as we iron out the inevitable bugs that will creep in after deploying such a significant code change. Find out more after the link.
Adobe has posted a prerelease version of its Lens Profile Creator utility that enables creation of custom lens profiles for Photoshop CS5, ACR 6.1 and Lightroom 3. The process involves downloading and printing a checkerboard test chart from Adobe Labs, and shooting a series of RAW or non-RAW images. These can then be imported to the Lens Profile Creator to generate custom profiles for the Lens Correction feature in Photoshop CS5 and Lightroom 3. Furthermore, these profiles can also be shared via the company's user community.
Olympus has officially announced the E-PL1, a simplifeid, less expensive addition in its Micro-Four Thirds camera range. With an MSRP of $599/€599/£549 the latest PEN ncludes many of the features of its big brothers, the EP-1 and EP-2 and also adds a built-in flash. We've had an E-PL1 for the past few days and have put together a hands-on preview that we hope will provide a little more insight than the bare specs and press images carelessly left lying around the internet.
Samsung wants to 'own' the mirrorless camera sector, according to Seung Soo Park, Samsung’s Vice President, Strategy Marketing and Digital Media. This will include enhanced communication with customers and firmware updates for its cameras based on their requests, he said, in an exclusive interview with dpreview.com.
Just Posted: Our review of the Sony DSLR-A850. This camera was launched in August last year as a slightly down-specced companion to Sony's full-frame flagship DSLR, the A900. The A850 is in terms of specification very close to its bigger brother and Sony says both cameras share the same imaging pipeline. Click through to our review and see all the differences between the two models.
Just Posted: Our quick review of the Olympus E-P2. The second-generation PEN was launched just five months after Olympus unveiled the E-P1. The biggest difference is the addition of an accessory port, allowing the attachment of an electronic viewfinder and making it the perfect candidate for our quick review format that looks at the differences between this and its sister model. We've been testing the firmware announced today to ensure the review highlights all the changes made since our E-P1 review.
Just Posted: Our review of the Canon PowerShot S90 compact digital camera. Canon's answer to the popular Panasonic LX3 offers a sophisticated set of photographic controls in a very compact body and promises to be the perfect pocket camera for the enthusiast shooter. We've been using it fairly heavily for several months now and have finally got round to finishing our full review (yes, yes, we know - apologies for the delay in getting this one out). So is the S90 the perfect compact for the serious photographer or just another point and shoot with pretensions? Find out what we thought after the link...
Panasonic has announced the first professional camcorder with a Micro Four Thirds sensor. Capable of recording full 1080p HD videos at various frame rates, the AG-AF100 is compatible with the company's line up of Lumix G lenses, filters, and adapters. Building on the success of the DMC-GH1 camera with videographers, the company says this higher-end model is 'targeted at the video and film production communities.'
Panasonic has announced firmware updates for its DMC-G1, GH1 and GF1 Micro Four Thirds cameras. To be released on May 10, the latest updates for all the cameras promises improved autofocus performance with third-party lenses and recognition of the new 14-42mm kit zoom. Amongst other improvements the updates promise improved flash performance for the GH1 and G1.
ACD Systems has released its ACDSee Photo Manager 12 image editing and management software for beginners and hobbyists. The latest version focuses on sharing images online with features to directly upload images to social networking sites, an FTP uploader and an Online mode, which connects users to a free 2 GB account on ACDSeeOnline.com. The software is available for US $69.99 for first time buyers and $35 as an upgrade to existing users.
Just Posted: Our in-depth review of the Canon Rebel T2i/EOS 550D. The EOS 550D combines high-end features adopted from the 7D, with the low-cost, user-friendly ergonomics of previous entry-level models like the EOS 500D. On paper its the most compelling Rebel-series DSLR to date, so can it span the bridge between first-time DSLR buyers and more experienced users? Read our full test to find out.